Committee on Finance. - Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 1935—Committee Stage.

Wednesday, 20 March 1935

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 55 No. 8

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Question proposed: “That Section 1 stand part of the Bill.”

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The Minister for Industry and Commerce was not very satisfactory in his replies to some questions raised when this matter was dealt with on previous Stages, and I think that the Minister for Finance ought to endeavour to give us more information now. In the first place, the House would like to know how many men are at present employed in this refining industry. The Minister for Industry and Commerce told us the capital involved was £150,000. The proposal involved in this section is that £25,000 a year be paid out of taxation to the company running this industry on a capital of £150,000. I would like to hear the Minister for Finance dealing critically with the proposal to hand over £25,000 a year to a firm who are putting a capital of £150,000 into a business here, and tell us the amount of employment that is being given by the industry, working at its present capacity. The Minister for Industry and Commerce said the development of the industry might [1098] mean that all the oil required here was going to be refined in the country, but he dodged completely the argument made in connection with that, that it would mean £300,000 a year additional taxation to the users of motor spirit. None of these points has been satisfactorily dealt with and I think the Minister for Finance should give us some further information with regard to these matters now.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The question proposed is that Section I stand part of the Bill.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The Minister for Finance may not have heard what I said, but the Minister proposes to hand over £25,000 of the taxpayers' money to a certain firm.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  I think the Minister wishes to reply to the points raised.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I misunderstood your remark, Sir.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Chair at first misunderstood the Minister's intention.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Perhaps the Deputy will bottle up his indignation for a moment. I understand that the House is in Committee and I was merely anxious to know if any other Deputy had anything to say on this proposal before I spoke. Deputy Mulcahy has animadverted on the fact that I have not criticised this proposal. The proposal has been examined. It is a proposal which is consistent with the general policy of the Government.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  That is true enough.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is a proposal which is consistent with the Government's policy which, apparently, does not appeal to the Deputy, to make this country as self-sufficing and as self-supporting as possible and to provide for its growing population the opportunity of maintaining themselves either in the service of existing industry or in the service of new industries which we propose to establish. This is, to a large extent, an experimental installation. [1099] It happens to be situated on a site where there is a considerable demand for the by-products of the proposed factory and, though undoubtedly it does involve a considerable amount of Government assistance, nevertheless we are satisfied it is an experiment which should be attempted, and that the establishment of the industry here, even on a somewhat restricted scale, should be undertaken.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I asked the Minister how many persons were employed at present in this industry.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  None at the moment.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  How many persons will be employed when it is working to its capacity of 3,000,000 gallons? How many persons in employment are we going to get for the expenditure of £25,000 a year of State money? The Minister, I think, ought to make some kind of a case. If he believes in his policy of self-sufficiency and a self-supporting country, he ought at least to give us some of the elementary arithmetic of the thing. He has the opportunity in this case. He asks the taxpayers to take £25,000 out of their pockets and hand it over to people who will have £150,000 of capital invested in an industry in Cobh. What are they going to do for the money they are going to get? If they run it without any profit, the money the Minister is providing from the taxpayers' pockets represents a fairly big return on their money, but we want to know what the 3,000,000-gallon scheme involves and what we are going to get for the £25,000.

The Minister relates this scheme to the general policy of being made self-sufficient and self-supporting. When this matter was before us on a Financial Resolution the Minister for Industry and Commerce said that it was the prelude to a much larger development and he indicated that if the Exchequer should require to receive the same revenue as at present the necessary financial steps would be taken, which meant that each progressive development of the 3,000,000-gallon output in this industry was [1100] going to cost an additional £25,000 a year and that that was going to be paid by those who were using petrol, so that, apart altogether from what the Minister's industrial alcohol scheme might bring in the matter of increased prices to those using motor spirit, this scheme, developed to its full capacity, is going to involve motor users, particularly in this country, in an increased payment of £300,000 a year to move about.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Who said so?

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  That is argued to the Minister now and it was argued to the Minister for Industry and Commerce before. If the Minister wants to enlighten the country, beginning with the Deputies of this House, as to the effect of this scheme, this is his opportunity and this is an occasion on which the Minister has responsibility for doing that. If he finds the members of this House so crassly ignorant as he thinks he finds them, it is all the more reason for his taking his educational responsibilities seriously and educating the Deputies of this House, so that he might have a first run over the sticks and help to educate the people of this country or help Deputies to do so. The proposal he has put before us has this effect: we are going to pay £25,000 a year to give employment to a number of people whom the Minister does not know. We have never been told how many will be employed. This has been before us on at least two occasions previously and it is now before us for the third time, and we have not been able to get any information as to what the £25,000 is going to bring this country in the matter of employment.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Could the Minister tell us what this light oil is to be used for and what evidence has he that it can be commercially produced here? Is it going to be in any way a substitute for petrol?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It is petrol.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Is the net result of this Excise duty of 6d. as against a Customs duty of 8d. on the imported [1101] spirit, a preference of 2d. to the manufacturer of this oil here?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The Deputy's arithmetic is correct.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Splendid. Take him slowly and we will get all the information.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I had no doubt about my ability to do arithmetic with the Minister. It is, however, information on facts and not arithmetical information I want. When we have learned from the Minister that six from eight leaves two, we are getting on. Whether it is to be an Excise duty of 6d. or an import duty of 8d. is a matter to be decided easily by this House, but what the House cannot know, and what the Minister should tell it, is our ability to produce this oil, and also some proofs that it will be good business in the national interest to have it produced here under a preferential rate of 2d. We would want to know the quality of that oil and we would want to be assured that 2d. would be a safe margin to enable the industry to be carried on here and not to chuck in this sum of £25,000, to be lost, so to speak, down the sewer, as so much more public money has been thrown down the sewer, as will be evident, if people look at Stubbs week by week, and see how many of the so-called industries that have sprung up here, financed by public money and carried on by people who never made a bob for themselves in those industries, have fared. I could ask the Minister, if I were on good business terms with him, for an advance to make watches, but would it be good business to put a person like me, who knows nothing about watches, to make a watch? How do we know that the people at this job, who are getting £25,000 of State money to produce this oil, are qualified to do so? I am not saying anything against them; they may be fully qualified but we ought to know whether they are. We are asked to hand out £25,000——

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  A year.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  A year. If the Minister [1102] were to ask me to hand out 25/- a year or 25d. a year out of my own pocket, I would want to know what it was for. We are the custodians, in this instance, of the £25,000 which is to be given to private individuals, and we are not told whether it is good business. We are not told the business character of the people involved; we are not told their record in this business; we are not told whether this 2d. preference will guarantee the safety of the £25,000; and—what is very important—we are not told whether the 2d. a gallon preference is not exorbitant and is not going to give too high a profit to those people. The Minister must explain. I am quite sure that before he and the Minister for Industry and Commerce put this proposal before the House, they went into all the details. They have become familiar with it, and evidence has been put before them, I am sure, which convinces them that it is a sound proposal, but the Minister must remember that, when he has been convinced by the evidence tendered to him, he has to come to this House to ask for the money, and it is not good enough for him to sit down and smile, knowing the special information that has been pumped into him in the last few weeks, and to refuse to give it to this House, so that the House may be convinced that this is a good proposition. We have as much right at this stage to be convinced of the soundness of the proposal as the Minister had in the initial stages. I am quite sure that when this proposal was first put to the Minister he did not immediately swallow it. He would not be fit for his job if he did. He had to have evidence put before him and it is his duty, in turn, to put forward that evidence here, but he is not doing so.

The Minister, and all the Ministers for that matter, are adepts at coining new words to express simple things. Hydro-carbon light oil—that would never strike me as petrol.

Mr. Donnelly: Information on Eamonn Donnelly  Zoom on Eamonn Donnelly  What do you call that?

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I do not know what you call it. It is described as hydro-carbon light oil. I should like to know whether there is any chance of this being [1103] extracted from peat, or will any native raw material be used in it.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  It is a mineral oil. It is not a function of the Chair to interpret any Bill.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  When you find yourself talking on a subject and seeking information, frankly admitting that you know nothing about the subject——

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Then you should sit down.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Your whole trouble is to try and extract information. This is a proposition that we are asked to finance out of public funds to make a certain product. Personally I go the whole way with the Minister in that. But there are a lot of things that we can do nationally and privately that it would not pay us to do. The Minister has that information and he should give it to us. If he does not, I for one am going to vote against it; whereas, if I had the information that perhaps the Minister has, I might be as enthusiastic for it as he is. If he refuses to give that information, I am certainly not going to vote £25,000 of public money until I know what it is going into and until I know that a good case has been made for the proposal; especially in the light of the long litany that I see week after week in Stubb's Gazette, where money out of the Trade Loans (Guarantee) Act has been granted for enterprises which had not a chance from the beginning of being a success. I am not going to vote for this until I know that it has a sporting chance of success. The Minister ought to give us the information which he pretends to have on the matter.

Mr. Curran: Information on Richard Curran  Zoom on Richard Curran  I think the Minister's statement that this is carrying out the Government's policy of self-sufficiency and all that is ridiculous in face of the figures put up, for instance, by Deputy Mulcahy. This company have a preferential rate of 2d. per gallon. If the Minister for Finance wants it to be a success why can he not give a better preferential rate rather than ask the taxpayers to subscribe £25,000 a year? I do not [1104] know whether the statement that they are going to get £25,000 a year is correct. I have not heard the Minister verify that. £25,000 would give employment to 100 men at £250 a year each; and that is what we are asked to vote as far as I understand the situation. Before the Minister puts forward a proposal such as this he should certainly give more information to the House. I am aware of certain schemes of the Government in connection with industrial development, etc. I know of a case where the Minister for Industry and Commerce gave a grant of over £800 and there is nothing there this minute but a hole of water and there never will be any more. £800 of the taxpayers money was spent on that. The Minister should give very much more definite information with regard to an expenditure of this kind, because it seems to me that a preferential rate of 2d. per gallon ought to be sufficient to stabilise the industry if it has a chance of success.

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  Is there any proposal to give any money whatever towards this industry further than the preferential rate?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The only proposal before the Committee is to impose an Excise duty.

Mr. Curran: Information on Richard Curran  Zoom on Richard Curran  If that is the situation we have not been discussing it from that angle.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  That is not my fault.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The Minister treats the matter very lightly. The users of motor spirit in this country for the year ended March, 1932, paid to the Revenue £532,184. How much did they pay for the year ended March, 1934? £1,089,255 or £557,071 additional. The Minister is introducing a proposal to give a financial benefit of £25,000 per year to a company that will come in and refine their oil here and the Minister for Industry and Commerce tells us that it is the prelude to a much larger scheme. He also tells us that the 2d. difference will hardly meet the costs; that is, that the production costs here are going [1105] to be so great that the 2d. will hardly meet them. He also tells us that it is quite possible to make the necessary arrangements to produce the whole of the 35 million gallons which the country requires and that it would be necessary to protect the revenue if that development took place. At present we are proposing to give a preference amounting to £25,000 a year to a firm which is going to establish itself in Cork and the Minister cannot tell us how many people are going to be employed on the production of the three million gallons. He tells us that it is part of a general system of being self-sufficient. It is the first step in self-sufficiency to the extent that those who paid £1,089,000 for petrol spirit in the year ending March last, as against less than half that two years before, are going to be put into the position by the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Industry and Commerce of facing £300,000 additional expenditure to run their motors. We ought to hear more about it in the interests of Parliamentary decency as well as in the interests of the general policy of self-sufficiency and self-support. How many men are going to be employed by the firm which is getting this concession equivalent to £25,000 a year?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Not for the first time Deputy Mulcahy has done the colleagues of his Party who are sufficiently rash to follow his lead a great disservice. He has talked about £25,000 which we are supposed to be giving to some one person or firm.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  You are surrendering it out of the revenue.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  If Deputy Mulcahy wishes to speak again I shall wait.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I just wanted to make that remark.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  He has been bobbing up and down in this debate like a gentleman in a rage, jumping on his own hat. Deputy Mulcahy said that we were giving £25,000 to some persons. The purpose of this section is to impose an excise duty at the rate [1106] of 6d. per gallon on certain mineral hydro-carbon light oils manufactured in this country. It is to take something off people.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Yes, off the taxpayers.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It takes 6d. per gallon off petrol manufactured in this country. I thought the line that the Opposition would take would be the line that Deputy Curran was disposed to enter upon, namely, that we were imposing too heavy an excise duty and that we should, in fact, give those people a greater preference. The verbal inexactitude of Deputy Mulcahy brought Deputy Belton into a quagmire also. The Deputy wants to know about our ability to produce this oil, That remains to be seen.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Are you then giving something away before you know what you can produce?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  We are giving nothing away. A preference is being granted by this Dáil, I do not say with the support of Deputy Belton, because the Deputy has not contributed a single vote for any nation-building scheme since he came into this Dáil. Instead of helping the country his speeches are calculated to injure it, as was the speech he made here to-day that he is looking at Irish failures in Stubbs' week after week.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I brought you in here.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I put you out of here in September, 1927, anyway; that is one thing I have to my credit. The Deputy told us that he is looking at Stubbs week after week, and he finds there a long litany of failures of Irish concerns financed out of public funds. If he reads Stubbs week after week, why not bring Stubbs down to the House here? Deputy Belton's statement, here in the Dáil, will be found blazoned in newspapers not friendly to this country; and in some of the English papers circulated here the statement will be found in black type “a long litany of Irish firms in Stubbs.” Then every carrion crow and every bird of the same feathers will be found crying out [1107]“The Irish Free State is going down. Stubbs is filled week after week with the record of Irish failures.” The Deputy wants to know what is our ability to produce this oil. I do not know.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Why waste the time of the House?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  We are not wasting anything except in trying to overcome Deputy Belton's invincible stupidity.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Surely you did not introduce an Excise vote for that?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  If these people are not able to produce the oil they will get no preference. If they are not able to sell the oil they will stop making it, and they get no preference. The duty is only to be collected ultimately upon such oil as is disposed of. What sort of a will-o'-the-wisp was Deputy Belton following when asking these two questions? If the oil is not good enough for the people in this country they will not be compelled to buy it; the commodity will have to be sold on its merits. If they are not able to produce it in quality good enough for us to buy, they will lose the advantage of the preference and they will lose the money they are putting into this business at their own risk.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  It will not be sold on its merits; it will be sold with a 2d. preference.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It will be sold against the imported article. I know from Deputy Belton's interjection that he is one of those wilfully blind people who do not believe that we can manufacture in this country as good commodities as we import. But this will be sold in competition against the best petrol spirit available here, and if it is not good enough to hold the field then the works will close down and this story of giving £25,000 to some people under this resolution will be exploded. I do not think there has been a single serious argument put forward against this proposal. The debate has been purely factious, merely for the purpose of once again [1108] obstructing the Government in carrying out its industrial programme.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I asked the Minister to tell us how many men would be engaged upon the production of these 3,000,000 gallons of oil. The Minister for Finance must not be as convinced as the Minister for Industry and Commerce that this scheme is going to go ahead, and to such an extent that he anticipated that the production of 3,000,000 gallons was to be but the prelude of much larger development. The Minister for Finance is putting before us the estimated expenditure for the coming year, and what he expects for the coming year he is going to spend. If the Minister meets with any loss, in Customs and Excise duties upon this oil, in the Central Fund, as a result of the operations of this scheme he has to take it from the taxpayers largely to make up the cost of his general expenses. We are not arguing on the basis that this is going to be a cod scheme. The Minister for Finance thinks it is going to be a practical scheme and that it will employ a certain number of people to produce this 3,000,000 gallons of oil. We want to know how many people will be employed, when this £25,000 is to be handed over to these people. The Minister for Finance would bring it to the general scheme of Fianna Fáil activity. The people are going to pay for it but no one will get any advantage. The Minister protests that no one in Cork is going to get £25,000 a year. We take the statement of the Minister for Industry and Commerce who says that the scheme is going to go ahead and to be further developed. If it does not go ahead in the first year the revenue in this country is going to be down by £25,000 and then the taxpayer will have to procure the money to fill in the hole in the revenue. We ask the Minister for Finance very simply what amount of employment is going to be given in Cork that would warrant the taxpayer in being mulcted in an additional £25,000 in future years for the output of 3,000,000 gallons of spirit.

Then we did extend the question a bit more, and asked him could he justify [1109] the scheme, because it has been put to us by the Minister for Industry and Commerce as a scheme that will develop and to-day by the Minister for Finance it has been put forward as one of the big spots in the self-sufficiency and self-supporting scheme. We are asking him to make a few remarks that will justify in some way the possible increase to motor spirit users, whose taxation has been raised from say £532,000 two years ago to £1,089,000 last year.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  There is no increase in the rates during these two years. There is an increase in the yield.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  The money has been paid into the revenue. It could not be paid in by anybody but the people who were using motor spirit. Having paid in more than £500,000 in addition to the £500,000 which they previously paid, we want the Minister for Finance graciously to say a few words as to what this country is going to get generally for the imposition of another £300,000 taxation on the users of this spirit, when according to the Minister for Industry and Commerce the much larger development to which this is simply a prelude will have taken place. We have not got the figure as to the number of persons to whom the production of 3,000,000 gallons will give employment, not to speak about any wider discussion by the Minister for Finance on the subject.

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  Has Deputy Mulcahy not forgotten in the course of his last remark that——

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I am not forgetting things which I have not been told anyway.

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  Is he not forgetting a remark which he quoted when he was on his feet previously, that, if the larger scheme developed, the general financial question surrounding the use of motor spirit would have to be reconsidered.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I say that. I want the Minister for Finance even to say that. He has not even said that much.

[1110]Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  I thought the Deputy quoted it from a speech of the Minister for Industry and Commerce.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Yes.

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  If that remark has been made, surely it answers the greater part of the argument which the Deputy has put forward.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Certainly not, and I can tell the Deputy why.

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  If the State wants a certain amount of money out of the use of motor vehicles in the country, and if the present method of collecting that money is going to be disturbed by the support given by the Government to the refining of motor spirit here, then the State will have to reconsider the question. If it is decided to get the full amount that has been collected, say, in the last financial year, they will find other methods of doing that. They will increase the tax on imported spirit and correspondingly increase the excise duty on the home made spirit.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  All of which means that the local user of a motor pays.

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  If he pays he will surely be paying for the support of an industry in the country that will give him very much greater security in the future with regard to his spirit. At present he has not very much security. He is very much at the mercy of circumstances over which he has no control. I do not know what the Deputy's grievance is with regard to this proposal. It seems to me a very sensible proposal. The sacrifice of £25,000 duty surely seems a wise sacrifice to promote an industry such as that, which will for one thing reduce substantially the cost of imports, and correspondingly leave us less dependent upon external markets for exports.

Mr. Donnelly: Information on Eamonn Donnelly  Zoom on Eamonn Donnelly  They do not want that.

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  Deputy Mulcahy should not think that the thing begins and ends with the mere imposition of an excise duty on the petrol produced in this country. He knows that if this scheme develops there will possibly be [1111] a reduction of, say, 25 per cent., going up to at least 50 per cent. of the imports of refined spirit. That would correspondingly reduce the necessity for exporting goods from this country, and we all know that the prospect of markets for most of the things we are producing here at present is not so good.

Mr. Curran: Information on Richard Curran  Zoom on Richard Curran  We might export the petrol—is that the idea?

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  If we are merely exporting for the sake of paying for an import then I do not think that is a form of export which Deputy Mulcahy or anybody else would advocate in this House. Even if the proposed industry gives employment to 20 or 30 people, we must remember that the company which is installing the machinery there is starting an industry for which the capital cost is very considerable, and which once started, if they are at all a business concern, they will be anxious to develop. At all events they will have an interest in maintaining the supply of motor spirit in this country. They will have a much bigger interest than a concern which would not have such a capital investment. Consequently, so far as I can judge, the industry deserves the support of the House.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Deputy Moore has intervened to tell us that what we would get from the expenditure of this money is, first of all, security; secondly, that our sins as exporters would be lessened to a small extent; thirdly, he branches into the realm on which we started off to try and get some information, and he says: “If this industry did give employment to 20 or 30 persons——”

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  I said “even.”

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  Can we get any information as to the number of persons who will get employment in the manufacture of this 3,000,000 gallons? Was ever a Parliament treated to such a humbug?

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Has the Minister any information as to the source from which [1112] the enterprise proposes to draw its supplies of crude oil for refining?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I presume it will get its supplies from the usual sources. There are several sources. Oil is one of the most widely distributed mineral commodities.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Perhaps the Minister would be kind enough to say plainly to the House: “In this regard I propose to wriggle.” That would settle it. If the Minister is going to wriggle we will get the information some other time. If the Minister does not know, then perhaps he will tell us at a later stage. Perhaps the Minister will tell us whether it is that he wants to wriggle, or whether it is that he does not know.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Neither.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Does the Minister know where they are going to get their supplies?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  No.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  You do not know? Well, go and find out. You ought to know. When you have found out come back to the House, and do what you ought to do and what you are sent here to do—that is, explain the business you are sponsoring.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Has the Minister any information which convinces him that 2d. is a fair margin of protection, because that is what it amounts to? If he has that information has he what you might call opposite information that 2d. is not too much? In other words, he wants correct information as to the cost of producing this oil here.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  If the Deputy will wait until he sees the company's first balance sheet he will have all that.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Might I take it from that remark of the Minister's that he does not know whether 2d. is such a margin as will enable a concern to produce this oil here? Has he any information as to whether twopence is too much or too little of a margin?

The effect of this section is to impose the sum of £25,000. I quite see that [1113] but we must have a comprehensive view of the whole thing. The proposal in the section is an excise duty of 6d. a gallon to stand against a custom duty of 8d. a gallon. That 2d. a gallon is the difference and that is the amount of protection for the home produced article. It amounts to that. No evidence has been produced here to show, first, that that 2d. is a fair margin if not a sufficient margin to encourage the production of oil here. If, on the other hand, this 2d. is too much of a margin, then this 6d. duty is too little. The Minister quite obviously does not know whether the 2d. difference is too much or too little. He told us that when we would get the first balance sheet from this company we would see. The Minister has not yet gone into production. Here we have the Minister making a bargain without knowing what he is making the bargain about. Deputy Moore said what any old woman sitting in a chimney corner down the country would say, “Oh, God is good.” That is really what Deputy Moore's argument amounts to.

A Deputy:  Not a bad argument.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  But it does not work in business as the Deputy ought to know. The Deputy ought to know the old principle in business that God helps those who help themselves. In business it is not enough to say “God is good” or “God bless us all.” Deputy Moore or any other Deputy who wants to apply himself to a matter of this kind should get himself informed as fast as he can. If the Deputy has not been informed at the Party meetings by the Minister this is his last chance before he plays one Deputy's part in this house and fixes an excise duty of 6d. a gallon.

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  I did not make any remark in these terms. I do not know to what Deputy Belton is referring. Anyhow, I did not make the blunder of talking about the Government getting security for £25,000 when there is no proposal to spend any money.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  The net proposal is to cut down the revenue by 2d. a gallon. [1114] In a certain number of gallons of petrol or oil that would be a net loss to the revenue of, I take it, £25,000. I think there should be no need to go over that, as the Deputy knows that as well as I know it.

Mr. Moore: Information on Séamus Moore  Zoom on Séamus Moore  Deputy Belton wants to know what security is there for the £25,000 being invested. The answer is there is no money being invested.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  The Deputy is not so dense as not to be aware. If we produce one gallon of petrol here the Revenue Commissioners will get 6d. in excise duty. If we do not produce that gallon the Central Fund gets 8d. There is at least a difference of 2d. a gallon. That is the net position. Deputy Moore said that this will give 20 or 30 people employment. I would remind the Minister that a sum of £25,000 a year on manufacture of 3,000,000 gallons, as Deputy Curran very properly pointed out, would give employment to 100 people at £250 each a year. Now I take it that Deputy Moore's point is that if the production of 3,000,000 gallons of petrol gives employment to 100 people at £250 a year, that that is good business. But might you not as well give them a pension of £250 a year and stop there? If you only want to scatter £25,000 that is easily done. Will you show any permanent return for that investment of £25,000? I use the term investment for the sake of convenience. I quite feel and see as plainly as the Minister does that you are giving out nothing but you are putting yourself in this potential position of receiving £25,000 less——

Mr. Donnelly: Information on Eamonn Donnelly  Zoom on Eamonn Donnelly  In order to try and have the industry.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  At any cost? Is the Deputy prepared to have £25,000 spent, say, in employing 100 people at £250 a year each? If he is he might as well go out and select 100 people in the street and say to them: “I will give you a pension of £250 a year so that you can buy in the local shops goods for that amount.”

Mr. Donnelly: Information on Eamonn Donnelly  Zoom on Eamonn Donnelly  That is not the way to put it at all.

[1115]Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  That is a fact. Will anybody on the Government Benches show us that the establishment of an industry here at a preference of 2d. a gallon is sufficient? I do not know whether it is or not. Will anybody say that 2d. a gallon is not too much?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  There is a rule about a Deputy repeating himself.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I am getting at the Minister now. He cannot show the House any evidence that 2d. a gallon is sufficient protection or whether it is too much. He does not know, in fact, whether it is too much or too little. The Minister ought to tell the House how many will be employed in the production of this oil and he ought to give us the net economic return and show whether it will justify the spending of £25,000 a year of public money. When you remit taxation you are doing the same as if you collected that tax from the man and paid it back to him again.

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Robert Briscoe  Zoom on Robert Briscoe  It is cheaper not to collect it and pay it back.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  It is, but taking it in round figures it amounts to the same. We could produce wine in this country if the Government would be prepared to pay the cost.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Hear, hear!

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  If the Government would be prepared to subsidise the growing of grapes we could produce wine.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Or to subsidise the growing of pine-apples.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  In the open spaces in the Western States of America these tropical or semi-tropical fruits will grow in the open air in the same way as potatoes here. Let us talk business. I am as great a protectionist as anybody on the Government Benches. I was a protectionist before any of them were protectionists. I am still a protectionist.

Mr. Cooney: Information on Eamonn Cooney  Zoom on Eamonn Cooney  A self-protectionist.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  We are not fools.

[1116]Mr. Donnelly: Information on Eamonn Donnelly  Zoom on Eamonn Donnelly  There is no tariff here on foolishness.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  It is a pity there is not an excise tariff on it, because it would have kept a lot of fellows out of here and it would have made others pay for their existence here.

Mr. Curran: Information on Richard Curran  Zoom on Richard Curran  I had a word to say on this debate a few minutes ago. We are asked to give a vote in connection with this matter. What we really are asked to do is to give a present of £25,000 a year to this industry. That is what we are asked to do. I presume I have ordinary intelligence. Here we are asked to make a present to an industry that is going to be started in Cork. If that is the policy of the Government why stop at that?

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Why not grow grapes and wine and everything?

Mr. Briscoe: Information on Robert Briscoe  Zoom on Robert Briscoe  And rhubarb.

Mr. Curran: Information on Richard Curran  Zoom on Richard Curran  You can grow bananas in the Wicklow Mountains at a cost.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Or breed elephants in Carlow.

Mr. Curran: Information on Richard Curran  Zoom on Richard Curran  No matter how the Minister may try to make out that we are talking through our hats or have not a right grasp of the situation or that we are led along the wrong paths, that is what it boils down to—that we are asked to give £25,000 a year to this industry. The Minister said it would have to stand on its own legs and that it would have to sell in competition, but we know that when an industry is started here certain things will apply. Is there not a quota system here, and is it not quite likely that the supply of petrol to this country will be subject to a quota, just the same as the supply of other articles imported here? I look at this from the ordinary point of view that it is simply a present of £25,000 a year to this industry that is starting in Cork, and no amount of argument from the Minister or the Government Benches will persuade me otherwise.

Question put.

Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Daly, Denis.
Doherty, Hugh.
Donnelly, Eamon.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Flinn, Hugo. V.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Geoghegan, James.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hales, Thomas.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Houlihan, Patrick.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Killilea, Mark.
Kilroy, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Ben.
Moane, Edward.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
Norton, William.
O Briain, Donnchadh.
O Ceallaigh, Seán T.
O'Dowd, Patrick.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Pearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Victory, James.
Ward, Francis C.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Brennan, Michael.
Burke, James Michael.
Burke, Patrick.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Curran, Richard.
Davis, Michael.
Dillon, James M.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fagan, Charles.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Good, John.
Keating, John.
Lynch, Finian.
MacDermot, Frank.
MacEoin, Seán.
McGovern, Patrick.
Morrisroe, James.
Mulcahy, Richard.
Nally, Martin.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.
Rice, Vincent.
Rowlette, Robert James.

Question declared carried.

Question proposed: “That Section 2 stand part of the Bill.”

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Is this the section which deals with excise duty on licences under the Tobacco Act, 1934? It is a source of regret to me that neither the President of the Executive Council nor the Minister for Agriculture is here, because, on a previous occasion, I inquired of the Minister for Agriculture as to whether he adhered to the view which he expressed in this House that President de Valera was too foolish to be true. I should like to ask the Minister for Finance what is his opinion on that question. The Minister for Finance will remember an interview given by President de Valera to the Evening Herald on 19th June, 1929. President de Valera said he had the whole question of the tobacco industry under consideration, and, with the illuminating guidance of Deputy Matthew O'Reilly, he had made up his mind that the national welfare demanded that the cultivation [1119] and curing of tobacco should be removed from the purview of the Revenue Commissioners and that he was satisfied that any loss in revenue which might result from liberating this great industry from interference by the Revenue Commissioners could be more than made up by the economies which he would effect in the Revenue Commissioners' staff.

The Minister remembers that interview? Like the oil, I suppose he does not know, but that interview was given. I reported that interview to the somewhat more plain-spoken colleague of the Minister, the Minister for Agriculture, and he sprang to his feet and said: “That is too foolish to be true.” I agree with him, but, unfortunately, this is a country in which folly of that kind can thrive and prosper, provided it is draped in the green flag, and the fact remains that, too foolish to be true or not, that interview was given and was given after consideration by the present President of the Executive Council. I want to ask the Minister for Finance if that interview was under consideration by the Executive Council when they authorised him to introduce to this House Section 2 of this Bill? If so, when did the Executive Council change its mind? Why have they now determined to charge and levy an excise duty of 5/- on every licence issued under the Tobacco Act, 1934, and 10/- and £1 on other licences? Finally, I want to ask the Minister for Finance if he agrees with the Minister for Agriculture that the President of the Executive Council is too foolish to be true?

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  Might I ask the Minister if the charge for these licences shows any variation from last year?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I think the Deputy had better read the section.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I have read the section.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  I think that question is answered.

Mr. Belton: Information on Patrick Belton  Zoom on Patrick Belton  I know the different [1120] stages of tobacco production for which licences are given—growers' licences, curers' licences, rehandlers' licences and experimental licences—but I admit that I forget what was charged for the corresponding licences last year, and, for the sake of information, I ask him if this shows any variation from what obtained last year. If he does not answer, it is immaterial.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Surely the Minister is going to tell us whether he thinks the President of the Executive Council is too foolish to be true?

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Chair did not interrupt the Deputy when a little earlier he repeated verbatim the speech he made on the Second Reading of this Bill. The principle of this duty was passed by the House on Second Reading and when the Financial Resolutions on which the Bill is based were discussed. Second Reading speeches or repeated references to what any Minister said six years ago are not in order.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Then am I to understand that, when these duties are being fixed, it is not relevant to the debate to discuss the views of the President of the Executive Council with reference to these same duties, as expressed some years ago, or to inquire of the Government why they arrived at this figure, in view of their proclaimed intention of fixing no figure?

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  That was not the speech.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  What the Chair rules is that the Deputy raised a point on Second Reading when it was quite in order, but that to resume the Second Reading debate on the Committee Stage is not in order.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Is it in order for me to ask the Minister for Finance to inform the House as to when, in respect of this Section 2, the Government altered their policy? That is all I want to know. The Government have proclaimed publicly that they have no intention of putting a licence duty or any other duty on the tobacco industry.

[1121]Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  When?

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  June 19th, 1929, and they got into office on those kinds of understandings. Now they are making a complete volte face and part of their personnel is declaring that they could not have said anything so idiotic.

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Frank Fahy  Zoom on Frank Fahy  The Chair has informed the Deputy—unless he wants it in express terms—that references to speeches made in 1929 are not in order on this Committee Stage.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  I do not want to try your patience or trespass on your indulgence.

General Mulcahy: Information on Richard James Mulcahy  Zoom on Richard James Mulcahy  I should like to ask the Minister if the decision to raise money by way of a licence was come to in order to make provision to assist towards the payment of unemployment assistance in those counties in which tobacco was being grown, because of the fact that in those counties where subsidised crops are being grown recent agricultural statistics show the greatest fall in the number of persons employed in agriculture.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  The debates on this Bill, if I might say so, would be much more helpful and relevant if Deputies would take the trouble to read the section. The section provides for the levying of an excise duty under the Tobacco Act of 1934, which was fully discussed in the House, and in the course of which discussion the point which Deputy Dillon has so futilely endeavoured to raise this evening was fully disposed of. With regard to the question that Deputy Belton put to me, the growers' licence which it is proposed to charge under the section is to replace a licence at the same rate which was formerly issued. The curers' and rehandlers' licences are new ones and they follow the customary procedure, that whenever a licence is issued to a particular person giving a right to do a certain thing a fee, in some cases a substantial fee, and in other cases, as in this case, a nominal fee, for that licence is charged.

[1122] Section put and agreed to.

Sections 3 and 4 put and agreed to.

Question proposed “That Section 5 stand part of the Bill.”

Mr. Esmonde: Information on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  Zoom on Osmond T. Grattan Esmonde  I think the Minister might explain more fully to the House this new departure in Government policy. He proposes to give bounties on three types of exports. On the Second Reading I noticed that the Minister stated the object of these bounties was to place the Irish manufacturer on the same basis as his competitor, presumably his competitor in foreign markets. This is undoubtedly a new departure in Government policy. We know that they have given bounties to agricultural produce, but the theory of the Government was that these bounties would be temporary and were only designed to cover the period until such time as the agricultural community would adapt themselves to the idea that the home market was the only one to be catered for. Here we have export bounties given to newly-established industries which are being protected and subsidised for the home market, and it is the first time I think that we have been called upon to vote money for such a purpose.

The first sub-section deals with an export bounty on manufactured tobacco. The late Senator Sir Nugent Everard was always of opinion that the best way to help the development of Irish tobacco was by granting an export bounty, but that, of course, was not in conformity with the general principles of the Government. Here for the first time this principle is introduced. The bounty will be quite considerable. Certainly it is a point worth discussing as to how the Government have arrived at this decision and what is the policy behind it. Presumably we are to develop an export trade in these commodities. This export trade is to be helped by special bounties given by the State while, at the same time, these industries are protected and subsidised in the home market. Certainly it is a grave question which the Minister should be prepared to stand over more fully than [1123] he has, because I think it is a new departure in Government policy. The House, I think, is entitled to discuss it more fully than it has up to the present before giving sanction to this new principle.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  It seems to me that the policy underlying this section is a very simple one. We know that some of our manufacturers have built up an export trade, not of very considerable dimensions so far, in certain commodities in which this year for the first time they will be compelled to use a certain proportion, in some cases a small proportion, in other cases their full requirements of raw materials of Irish production. In the case of sugar, for instance, I think that practically 100 per cent. of the requirements of our sugar manufacture will be provided from home sources, and that raw material costs them considerably more in these circumstances than it would if they were purchasing material of foreign origin. It is desired to put our home manufacturers using native materials in a fair competitive position in external markets and, as the difference between our excise rates and our customs rates of duty upon these commodities fairly represents the difference between what the manufacturers would have to pay for the home article as compared with the foreign, it is proposed in this section, in addition to giving them the ordinary drawback of excise duty to which they would be entitled to give them a compensation bounty to compensate them for the increased cost of the raw material represented by the difference between that excise rate of duty and the customs duty which would be borne by imported raw material.

Question put and agreed to.

Question—“That Section 5 stand part of the Bill”—put and agreed to.

Question proposed: “That Section 6 stand part of the Bill.”

Mr. Brennan: Information on Michael Brennan  Zoom on Michael Brennan  We oppose this section. The section as set out in this Bill proposes [1124] to repeal certain Acts which confer certain benefits upon local authorities—the Acts of 1836, 1844, 1846 and 1879. The Minister proposes to repeal these Acts so that he may reap some small benefit from taxation by way of stamp duties. On the last occasion the Minister informed the House that the real reason behind his proposal was that he wanted to get rid of certain anomalies. It is evident that that is not so, because if he wanted to get rid of certain anomalies there was a much easier way than the course he has adopted. When introducing this matter originally he said there was a serious leakage of revenue. Speaking last week he informed us that it only meant so far as stamp duty was concerned a sum of £2,000.

Mr. MacEntee: Information on Seán MacEntee  Zoom on Seán MacEntee  Rate receipts.

Mr. Brennan: Information on Michael Brennan  Zoom on Michael Brennan  Yes, but I think the Minister also said on that occasion that he really was not in a position to give an exact estimate of the total yield. He said, column 1067 of the Official Report of the 15th March:

“I am not in a position to give any estimate of the total yield. I have said that the yield in relation to rate receipts, which is the principal item, is £2,000.”

I should like to know on what basis these calculations were made. The Minister is far out. I should like to know if these calculations were honestly made. I expect there will be paid in the way of stamp duties on rate receipts at least £10,000. I heard of one county council estimating £200 as the sum of its receipts in that line. In addition to that there are certain other matters —contracts, leases, conveyances and similar documents such as matters relating to dispensary houses—for which the local authorities were always exempt from stamp duty. Now they are to be brought in. The Minister coolly informed us the other day that the reason he was introducing this was in order to remove anomalies; that certain matters were treated as poor rate [1125] which should not and which were not ordinarily entitled to exemption, and in order to see that that was carried out certain items would have to be segregated from others.

The position in local authorities is that whatever is regarded as poor law administration, under the poor law system, is done by order of the Local Government Department, and is not optional with local authorities. The simple thing for the Minister, and I think in the circumstances it would be the only reasonable course to adopt, was to exempt from stamp duty all matters that were being dealt with in that way. The Minister said that the yield in relation to receipts would be only £2,000, yet for that he upsets all the original facilities which the local authorities have. That does not mean so much to the Minister but it is going to be very embarrassing to the local authorities. Surely when the British Government, so far back as 1838, felt that local authorities, dealing with the sick and poor and needy, were entitled to these exemptions it is a poor thing to find the Fianna Fáil Government removing these facilities from the local authorities. I am afraid that is the real mind of the Government so far as the ratepayers are concerned. It is in keeping with everything else. They are increasing our rates, they are withholding moneys on the ground of the unpaid land annuities, and now we have this latest exaction and we are wondering where it is going to end. I think the Minister, even at this stage, would be well advised if he did not insist on this section. I do not see why this section is there at all. The contention that it is there to remove anomalies is ridiculous. If he wanted to remove anomalies it could be done the other way, and my information is that it should be done the other way.

Mr. Dillon: Information on James Matthew Dillon  Zoom on James Matthew Dillon  Further to what Deputy Brennan has said, the Minister, no doubt, thinks £200 or £2,000 is a very small sum. But both Deputy Brennan and I have reason to realise that the burden of £200 on Roscommon County Council might have very serious repercussions. [1126] One of the strongest supporters of the Minister proposed at that council meeting, as an economy, that we should take all secondary school scholarships for children in Roscommon so that the net result of the Minister's operation of the collection of £2,000 was that 10 poor children in Roscommon were to be denied the opportunity of getting secondary school education. And that was proposed by a Fianna Fáil supporter of the Minister who was desirous of reducing the rates in view of the heavy burden laid upon them by the Central Government. I know perfectly well the Minister, sitting on his Olympian heights of finance, cannot think that these things can happen but they do happen and these repercussions do occur in the country. If he asks some of his zealous colleagues they will tell him how they could and do happen. Of course £2,000 is mere chick feed to the Minister but £20 is a very substantial sum to a poor child in the country. It may mean all the difference between getting education and going without it. That is the kind of thing that the Minister dismisses with a wave of his hand when he tries to do away with other anomalies. These anomalies could be done away with by order of the Minister for Local Government and Public Health regularising the situation. That is all that needs to be done. There is no use disguising the effect of this section which is going to gather a little more money into the Exchequer without letting anybody know. It is the old game in the Treasury and a compliant Minister for Finance does what he is told. I suggest, in this case, the Minister for Finance ought to be able and should once in a way show some evidence of the spine which he is supposed to have in his back. He should make up his mind as to what he wants and not collect odds and ends of revenue without satisfying himself that he will not be doing more damage than good by the sums that he proposes to collect.

Question put: “That Section 6 stand part of the Bill.”

Bartley, Gerald.
Beegan, Patrick.
Boland, Gerald.
Bourke, Daniel.
Brady, Seán.
Breathnach, Cormac.
Breen, Daniel.
Briscoe, Robert.
Concannon, Helena.
Cooney, Eamonn.
Corkery, Daniel.
Crowley, Fred. Hugh.
Crowley, Timothy.
Daly, Denis.
Doherty, Hugh.
Donnelly, Eamon.
Dowdall, Thomas P.
Flinn, Hugo. V.
Flynn, John.
Flynn, Stephen.
Gibbons, Seán.
Goulding, John.
Hales, Thomas.
Harris, Thomas.
Hayes, Seán.
Hogan, Patrick (Clare).
Houlihan, Patrick.
Jordan, Stephen.
Keely, Séamus P.
Kehoe, Patrick.
Kelly, James Patrick.
Kelly, Thomas.
Killilea, Mark.
Kilroy, Michael.
Lemass, Seán F.
Little, Patrick John.
McEllistrim, Thomas.
MacEntee, Seán.
Maguire, Ben.
Moane, Edward.
Moore, Séamus.
Moylan, Seán.
Murphy, Patrick Stephen.
Murphy, Timothy Joseph.
Norton, William.
O Briain, Donnchadh.
O'Dowd, Patrick.
O'Grady, Seán.
O'Reilly, Matthew.
Fearse, Margaret Mary.
Rice, Edward.
Ryan, James.
Ryan, Martin.
Ryan, Robert.
Sheridan, Michael.
Smith, Patrick.
Traynor, Oscar.
Victory, James.
Ward, Francis C.

Alton, Ernest Henry.
Belton, Patrick.
Bennett, George Cecil.
Brennan, Michael.
Burke, James Michael.
Burke, Patrick.
Coburn, James.
Cosgrave, William T.
Costello, John Aloysius.
Curran, Richard.
Davis, Michael.
Dillon, James M.
Doyle, Peadar S.
Esmonde, Osmond Grattan.
Fagan, Charles.
Fitzgerald, Desmond.
Keating, John.
Lynch, Finian.
MacDermot, Frank.
MacEoin, Seán.
McGovern, Patrick.
Morrisroe, James.
Mulcahy, Richard.
O'Higgins, Thomas Francis.
O'Leary, Daniel.
O'Mahony, The.
O'Sullivan, John Marcus.
Redmond, Bridget Mary.

Question declared carried.

Sections 7 and 8 put and agreed to.

Schedule and Title put and agreed to.

Bill reported without amendments.


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